While you’re waiting breathlessly for the next full installment of THAT’S METAL!, I have a couple of items I’d like to share, to make the pain of waiting somewhat less traumatic.
For my first item, I give you the mantis shrimp. Not long ago, The Oatmeal prepared a comic strip about the mantis shrimp that made the rounds on the interweb. It described facts about this creature that make a strong case for anointing it the MOST METAL THING ALIVE, including some of these (I sourced other facts included below from this article):
Our eyes have three types of color-receptive cones (green, blue, and red). Butterflies have five, enabling them not only to see two colors we don’t even have names for, but also a massive spectrum of color that our brains can’t process. The mantis shrimp has sixteen color-receptive cones.
The mantis shrimp is one of the most creatively violent creatures on earth. It has two hinged arms normally held under its head. In the “spearer” species, the arms end in an impaling spike, while the “smashers” wield crushing clubs.
“The smashers deliver the fastest punch of any animal. As the club unfurls, its acceleration is 10,000 times greater than gravity. Moving through water, it reaches a top speed of 50 miles per hour. It creates a pressure wave that boils the water in front of it, creating flashes of light (shrimpoluminescene – no, really) and immensely destructive bubbles. The club reaches its target in just three thousandths of a second, and strikes with the force of a rifle bullet.”
The front surfaces of the clubs are made of crystals that are stronger than engineered ceramics forged at 1,500 degrees Celsius.
Aquariums usually don’t house mantis shrimp because they tend to slaughter every other creature they share a tank with. Also, because they can break aquarium glass.
As for the impaling thing, watch this:
And once you’ve seen that, then you have to see the next video, which surfaced last week. I received the link from my friend Ullr, who originally sent me a link to The Oatmeal strip many weeks ago. The song in this video isn’t metal, but as Ullr wrote, music about the mantis shrimp is metal. The lyrics are pretty fuckin’ funny.
Onward to Item Two . . .
Frequent visitors to NCS know that I’ll seize on any excuse to run some Finnish through Google Translate. I don’t mean an actual Finnish person, I mean something (anything) in the Finnish language. Because the Finnish language is to Google Translate as the mantis shrimp is to a hard-shelled crab: it cracks it down the middle and lets all the delicious juices spurt out.
I used to think that whoever was responsible for the Finnish part of Google Translate had just been drinking way too much fuckin’ olut or viina. But NCS supporter jeimssi (who is himself a Finn) recently pointed me to the following table of derivatives from the Finnish word for reason, sense, or intelligence. I think all of us native English speakers can now get a better sense of the challenges confronted by Google Translate.
By the way, jeimssi verified to me that everything in the table is grammatically correct, with nothing made up. A language this confusing and impenetrable is by definition metal. And you thought you had trouble with spelling.